According to journalist Dean Jones, Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard wants to sign “Champions League-level” players as he aims to establish the Midlands outfit as a top Premier League club.
Since earning promotion back to the Premier League in 2019, the Villans have been amongst the biggest spenders in the top flight. In fact, during that time, only seven clubs across the globe have parted with more than Villa’s £351.6m outlay.
Having only joined the Villa Park side from Rangers in November, Gerrard did not oversee the majority of those transfers. However, the former Liverpool captain was influential in the signings of Lucas Digne and Philippe Coutinho, both of whom have played at the highest level of club football.
Speaking to GiveMeSport, Jones said Gerrard wants to add players of a similar quality to his squad moving forward.
He explained: “So, he’s got high standards, and if he’s going to bring in Champions League-level players, which is what he wants, he knows that that’s got to be on a major basis.
“It can’t just be one or two, because those players need to have that quality around them.”
TIF Thoughts on Gerrard’s transfer plans…
For all of Villa’s heavy spending, they have failed make a real impression on the Premier League. After splurging more than £100m ahead of their first season back amongst the elite, Villa only secured survival on the final day of the campaign. Last term, they spent a little less, but still parted with around £91m. Ultimately, that translated to an 11th-place finish.
As it stands, the 1982 European Cup winners are ninth, but considering they trail Wolves in eighth by 10 points, they will unlikely move further up the table. Perhaps the calibre of the players brought in is a reason why they have been unable to challenge for a European spot – with all due respect to Wesley, Marvelous Nakamba and Trezeguet, they do not exactly scream Champions League, though Nakamba has featured in the competition.
Is Gerrard the right man for Villa?
The arrival of Gerrard undoubtedly gives Villa extra pulling power, as the capture of Coutinho showed. The club’s owners and investors clearly have big ambitions, and their search for success will continue to require financial backing. Signing the right players, therefore, will only make the process easier and cheaper, and it will be interesting to see who is targeted during the summer.